Gear Shift - 2010 Audi Q5 quattro 4-door 3.2L PremiumEnlarge Photo
For most brands, eight-speed automatic transmissions are still only the stuff of high-end flagships but for Audi, at least, most of the models in its lineup will feature the advanced units. Already confirmed for the new 2011 Audi A8 and updated Q7, by this fall the automaker will announce that its eight-speed automatic transmission will also feature in the more affordable A4, A5 and Q5 models.
The information was revealed in dealer order guides released for the 2011 model year, which were obtained by the guys at Autoblog. Eventually, Audi hopes to have nearly 70 percent of its U.S. lineup fitted with the eight-speed ‘box.
The design of the particular eight-speed automatic used by Audi is claimed to improve fuel consumption by around 14 percent compared with a standard six-speed automatic because of its longer gear ratio. Additionally, the unit’s compact packaging means no additional weight gain over the previous six-speed auto. Furthermore, the design will also eventually be updated to include compatibility with stop-start technology, allowing the close-geared system to shut the engine down when a vehicle comes to a stop and fire it back up and drive off at a moment’s notice.
A six-speed manual will also remain an option on most of the mentioned models, and some will still be offered with the existing seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission.